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SOC263H5 (99)

Canada's Growing Income Gap

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Mary Jo Nadeau

SOC263 th January 26 Canada’s Growing Income Gap: Class and Economic Inequality Dimensions of Social Inequality 1. Material: class and economy – poverty, wealth, jobs, income, resources, well-being, participation, housing, food) 2. Political: states, policy, power 3. Cultural: identity, belonging, othering Canada’s Growing Gap 1998: Growing Gap Report: inequality between the rich and poor in Canada 2006: Growing Gap, Growing Concerns: Canadian attitudes toward income inequality 2007: Canada’s Rich and Poor: moving in opposite directions 2010: Problem of poverty post-recession Economic Myths Myth: wealthy nation = economic growth for all Reality: rich getting richer; poor getting poorer Gap between rich and poor incomes is growing… 1976: richest 10% of Canadian families earn 31% more income than poorest 10% 2004: richest 10% if Canadian families earn 82% more income than poorest 10% The Growing Gap … In good economic times, and in bad - Canada is in top 10 wealthiest nations (#9) - Surplus in national budget for almost a decade And yet… The income gap between the rich and the poor is greater than it was 30 years ago… - and its widening - and its becoming entrenched as permanent during good and bad economic times, since the 1980s Unequal Distribution of Wealth The Shrinking Middle-Class (increasing instability) - increased work, lower overall income - less savings (from 20% in 1980 to 0% in 2005) - increased debt (mortgage, education) The Working Poor (two paycheques away from poverty) - 1.5 million Canadians live as working poor; full-time, multiple jobs - working poor = 40% of low-income Canadians - most poor people work full- or part-time The Welfare Poor (on the margins; sub-poverty) - 1.7 million Canadians on welfare – half are children - most vulnerable economic group are single mothers - Ontario welfare incomes decreased by $6,600 since 1992 “Feminization of Poverty” Women form majority of poor in Canada (1 in 7, 2006) - single mothers (50%+ live in poverty) - senior women living alone (40% poverty rate) - aboriginal women (average annual income $13,000 vs. $18,000 aboriginal men & $19,000 all women) - women with disabilities - women of colour (37% live in poverty); working poor - immigrant women earn $14,000 less than Canadian-born women at same level of education - high rates of child poverty linked to women’s poverty Racialization of Pove
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